Old time Graffiti? On the Petroglyph Trail -- Tues, 10/21/14

Dinosaur National Monument in Utah (and Colorado) is so much more than a quarry with fossilized dinosaur bones.  It's a 210,000-acre monument with startling diversity -- dry landscapes, the scenic and historic Green and Yampa rivers, mountains, deep canyons, and archaeological sites.  And all those crazy mixed-up rock layers of the Colorado Plateau, all 23 of them!  And petroglyphs scattered around the park ... rock art made by the Fremont people about 1,000 years ago.  More designs than we've ever seen before. 

 On the trail of petroglyphs Tuesday morning, Jimmy stands at the Green River.

Our first stop on Cub Creek Road, and up we go along the upper portion of the cliff face.

Using sharp tools, ancient people pecked away at the dark natural stain (called desert varnish) on the rock surface, to make their designs on the lighter sandstone beneath.  How about this big horn sheep? 

 A spot of color every now and again:  Desert Mallow.

Symbolic?  Smiley face?  This is a small representation of the rock art we saw here.  There's more further down the road. 

Here, a large petroglyph concentration is up on the rock ledge (dark varnish areas) high above the road, reached by a short, steep trail.  We looked closely, and from here we spotted the giant lizard.

In this one area, we counted nine or ten lizards, including several large figures, not common at other sites.  The giant lizard is to the left, above me.  

No, he did not touch the rock!

 Tortured rock with artful designs, and a fantastic view from this ledge of the surrounding mountains. 

The park people call this "the flute player."  I call it "Piccolo Pete!"

See the dot at the red arrow?  That's Smartie!

After we clambered down, we continued on toward Josie Morris' cabin, but I'll save that fascinating story for the next post.  So far, this day was a huge success.


  1. Can't remember if I mentioned before how different the Colorado side of the monument is.

  2. I am amazed that you found a place we haven't been yet. Now, of course, we have to go there! Gorgeous.

  3. Our visits to the area didn't take us much further than the quarry, so I am happy to see more of it -- if only virtually. The lizard closest to you looks more like a saguaro to me ;-)


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